Part 2: Transport Hunter
What kind of Hunter took off their eyes to check the window when a monster was running wild right in front of them? Other Hunters do check it occasionally, but that was only when they had reliable members on guard beside them. It was also when the monster’s HP was low.
Im Jeong questioned if Taein understood the gravity of the situation.
Does he think we’re reliable and that the Scundell is easy?
She burst out laughing as she continued attacking and provoking the monster.
After her scolding, Taein tried not to look at the window. However, just as how one couldn’t resist gravity, his gaze kept being drawn to the window. It wasn’t only Taein. The other two also glanced at the window after each attack. Their heads would automatically turn to it on its own.
For the first time ever, they had reduced the monster’s HP with their own strength. The number, 2.7 million, was chipping away little by little.
The weapons that Im Jeong had given them had a considerable attack amplification rate. With their chakra levels in play, the low-level Hunters were able to quickly cut the monster’s HP by several thousands after each successful attack.
Both Taein and Kanghyun were F-rank Dealers with chakra levels at 5. The base attack for a F-rank was 200 and an increase in chakra level resulted in an increase of an attack amplification rate by 10%.
Taein’s hand ax applied a 200% attack amplifier each time. His base attack of 220 (10% of 200 included) was then amplified to 440 (200% of 220 included) as a result of his weapon. The damage output altogether was 660.
Kanghyun’s weapon had a 250% application rate.
Im Jeong, a B-rank Tanker, had an attack power of 250. Despite her attack being amplified from her high chakra level, her weapon was only effective in raising her defense amplification rate, so not much could be expected from her offense. No matter how high of a rank a Hunter may be, if their role was to tank, their damage will be similar to a low-level Dealer in terms of attack power.
Jiwoo realized his weapon choice was wrong. The moment he first saw it, he felt drawn into it like it was fate. However, it began to dawn on him that this wasn’t the type of weapon he would carry around with him unless to use in special circumstances.
The blade was curved, so attacking with it felt off. Additionally, he had not learned how to properly wield it, which was another inconvenience.
Had the blade been pointed outwards, he could have done something about it, but it was pointed inwards. The weapon was structured in a way that could not cut things.
In the end, Jiwoo tossed the blade and punched Scundell instead, which meant he had no weapon attack amplifier. If it were Taein or Kanghyun, they would not have been able to dump their weapon and the amplification it gave so easily, even if it wasn’t a good match for them. Jiwoo, on the other hand, only had to give up a 22 amplification rate.
Whenever Jiwoo punched Scundell, its HP reduced by 11. At the very least, he had raised his chakra level to be capable of that much. That said, no one expected Jiwoo to take down the monster at any point or time.
All three of them were fighting in close combat. It took 7 seconds for a close-combat Dealer to recharge their chakra. Taein could inflict 660 damage with a single blow, but after a single attack, he had to evade for 7 seconds to recharge his chakra. The same held true for Kanghyun.
They worked together to prevent themselves from being vulnerable during their recharge times. After one person took the offensive, the other person would do the same, two seconds later, to minimize the time gap.
But they soon realized their plan was not very efficient.
Whereas the 7 second recharge time applied for everyone else, for some reason, Jiwoo was the anomaly.
From the very beginning, Jiwoo was able to easily pour out his chakra to attack. At first, he needed 6 seconds to recharge, then 5 seconds, and gradually that time shortened, ultimately becoming unnecessary.
Everytime Jiwoo succeeded with his chakra-infused punch, Kanghyun and Taein watched. They knew they couldn’t disregard his presence if he wasn’t restrained by the recharge time. Even if Jiwoo attacked only once per second, it still meant he could attack seven more times while the others recharged. 77 was the maximum though. The difference could be significantly reduced if he had a weapon which would increase his attack amplification rate.
As Jiwoo continued to fight, Taein and Kanghyun loosened up.
“Let’s do what we can.”
“Yes sir!” Kanghyun replied to Taein, and saluted.
Now their movements were becoming more refined. They weren’t scurrying around to evade the monster after they attacked.
The movements of the three low-level Hunters were strange. They didn’t let the monster take the lead or attacked it whenever it moved. Im Jeong noticed they were trying to drive the Scundell out of a specific area, which it had seemed obsessed with. The area looked like a yard covered in countless footprints. It was clear there was a purpose for whatever they were doing.
The Scundell was getting very uncomfortable from the novice Dealers’ assault.
Im Jeong didn’t understand what they were aiming for. This wasn’t the only strange thing. Their formation was different from other Hunters. They marked the left, right, and rear side of the monster, but instead of attacking whenever they saw an opening, they kept sending each other eye and hand signals, and changed the formation when necessary to pressure the monster. Working together to transport carcasses seemed to have paid off with their teamwork.
Im Jeong was able to find out their aim to kick the Scundell out of its Querencia after the raid was over.
The monster was in a panic from being continuously expelled from its Querencia and it lost its initiative in the fight since it could not find the time to catch its breath.
The low-level Hunters’ initially clumsy movements gradually became sharper. The three realized just how important a role a competent Tanker played in the raid. Im Jeong made it possible for them to attack without worrying about anything else. Furthermore, they weren’t looking at the window anymore since they were preoccupied with the fight.
In the meanwhile, Scundell’s HP was rapidly decreasing. Once Im Jeong judged that Taein and Kanghyun got a hang of the battle and fought rationally, she approached Jiwoo.
“If you keep using your chakra like that, you’ll collapse from exhaustion at the very last minute.” Im Jeong warned.
Unaware of the fact, Jiwoo nodded immediately. However, Im Jeong shook her head soon after.
“Nevermind, forget what I just said. The goal of this raid isn’t to defeat the Scundell. It’s to get a feel for and grasp your limitations, so push yourself all the way through to the end. You two, keep up with what you were doing as well.”
“Understood.” Everyone answered vigorously.
And eventually, her words proved to be right. They each had a limit to their chakra. It happened when they were trying to avoid the big penalty, an unconditional reduction of 50 EXP, from Body firm. They had similar symptoms back when they tried to carry over their limit. Their legs were trembling, their vision was spinning, they felt like throwing up and passing out.
However, their state now couldn’t be compared to how they were back then. Their chakra output was much higher. Taein and Kanghyun slowly felt the symptoms, but both were holding their ground while competing with each other. It took all they could to endure. They could muster enough energy to stand still, but attacking with chakra was not possible anymore.
“I have no chakra left.” In the end, Taein gave in first.
Kanghyun tried to bob his head, but he didn’t have the strength to nod. Im Jeong looked at Jiwoo. He was panting heavily, his shoulder and chest shaking, but he was still able to fight. In fact, he kept on attacking.
It didn’t end there. Im Jeong had purposefully stepped back to see how far Jiwoo could go. As a result, Jiwoo was on the offensive and defensive all by himself against the Scundell. In other words, he was expending a lot of chakra and energy. Jiwoo looked as though he was having a difficult time but that did not mean he couldn’t keep on going.
The other three watched Jiwoo before turning to the window. There were four hours remaining and the monster’s HP would reset 12 hours after entering the swamp. Jiwoo could be able to fight more, but he could only inflict 11 damage with each attack.
“11 times 60 times 60. That’s the amount of damage he can do if he attacks it every second for an hour.” Kanghyun muttered and calculated.
“That’s 39,600.” Taein said.
The three of them shook their heads simultaneously. There was no solution. Even if Jiwoo held out until the end by himself, a clear was impossible unless he could somehow freeze the window’s timer.
“It would’ve been possible if Jiwoo Hyung fought with a weapon.” Kanghyun stated.
“Still, not much would change. For starters, Jiwoo has to raise his rank. It would be huge if his base attack increases with his rank. I wonder how come he doesn’t need to recharge?” Taein asked.
“Get ready to leave. That’s it for today.” Im Jeong shouted at Jiwoo, while grabbing Scundell’s attention.
Although she provoked the Scundell, it just rolled its eyes at her. It was much weaker than before and couldn’t move its body properly. Everyone’s diligent attacks had reduced the monster’s HP and strength. Hence they all felt like it was a shame to give up and leave.
“I can’t believe we’re leaving like this.” Kanghyun said.
Jiwoo was frustrated too. He knew he would’ve more than likely succeeded if only his attack power was a little higher or if his stats were like the others.
Im Jeong gave them a stern warning.
“Every tragedy is caused by one wrong decision in the midst of the moment. If you realize something is not possible, you have to know when to withdraw. Kanghyun, please take your leave.”
In fact, there were quite a lot of people who became devastated when they saw how much HP the monster had left. They think they could get their hands on the Rupstone if they attack a little more. They believe they could endure it despite their lack of chakra. Consequently, they become unable to dodge the monster’s attack since their reflexes have significantly slowed down due to their exhaustion, which would result in an injury. Such was a common occurrence.
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